Once we made the decesion to expand, we realized we needed to create a business model that will take us to the next level. One thing we did know. If we continue to conduct business the way we did in past, we would fail. Times have changed and motoring public has changed with it.
There were three factors that we considered when we developed our new business model. First, cars last longer, don’t break down as much and don’t require the same amount of service and repair work the cars did years ago. Two, every segment of the auto industry, from dealership to national chains are car cars centers now. The service and repair pie is being sliced smaller and smaller. Three, we live in fast-paced world. We can no longer expect people to be given a scheduled date for their when it suits us. We have to be accommodating to the customer and book appointments when it suits the customer. In addition, we need to handle walk-ins. Turning away unexpected people who want to wait for an oil change or state inspection is bad business, in my opinion. What’s worse, turning away first time customers. That can be the kiss of death. If you look at all the large chains, tires stores and quick lubes, they welcome walk-ins.
So based on our findings, if we want to expand and add four more bays to our existing six, we need to reach out to a larger customer base in order to increase market share and car counts. This can only be accomplished by accepting walk-ins, allowing customers to schedule the service time for their car that fits into their busy schedule, extend business hours, be open on Saturdays and promote while-you-wait service.
I want to make one thing very clear. I am not say that this is the only model and that the way you conduct your business is wrong. And, I am not saying that we should completely change the way we have been doing business for so many years. This is the model I created based on the changing times and changing demographics from my perspective.
Next entry…how to capture a larger market share and increase car counts.